My story on Valentine’s day?
Some say: “Why celebrate it?”. The usual arguments against Valentine’s day are as follow: “it’s commercial!” and “I can prove how much I love someone any other day of the year!”. Both statements are true, but should we dig a little bit more?
There are a lot of legends and versions regarding the origin of Valentine’s day, but the one my dad told me is my favourite. I am not an historian, so I don’t know how much truth there is in it. All I know is that it’s always made me want to celebrate it, even when I was single. At the time, I actually use to have a “girlantine’s day” with my other single friends.
So, Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome. One day, Emperor Claudius ll decided that single men were better soldiers than married ones and he apparently outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine was very much against this decision and decided to go against Claudius’ ruling. He continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Claudius heard about his actions, Valentine was put to death.
So, yes, Valentine’s day has become a commercial endeavour, but only if you let it be this way. I, for one, prefer to remember my dad’s story and tell myself that I am celebrating these men and women who were once told they could not love freely.
If you are not going to celebrate Valentine’s day, how about you mark this day for all those who have to go through forced marriages. Those who cannot marry the one they love because of religious differences or their sexual orientation.
I am going to celebrate Valentine’s day because of all the reasons above, but also because I have been single for five years before meeting my other-half. It’s been incredibly hard to meet someone who wanted to commit, and who wanted to share a life with me. I have always been very independent and I never defined myself via my relationships. I never needed someone in my life to feel whole, but I wanted to have what my parents had. That is to say: a friendship stronger than any other friendship, a person to be there when I am struggling, a hand to hold, love someone and be loved in return. When I read the previous line, I can’t help but feel cheesy…but that’s what love is, isn’t it?
If you are in your thirties, then you and I probably went through the same ordeal. People refusing to commit, lies, treachery, silly excuses and this strange attitude towards commitment. “I am too cool, too independent, too busy, too young or too old to commit”.
What a struggle and a load of bull****! (pardon my French!).
I am not going to intentionally turn my back on my relationship on Valentine’s day and not celebrate it on the basis that I already show him how much I love him all year round. In fact, what’s the point of being with someone if you are not showing them how much you love them as often as possible? Valentine’s day is just an extra opportunity, a bonus day if you will! There’s no need to be gooey about it or to spend thousands. You just need to mean it.
For Valentine’s day, I buy a card from a small business (usually handmade) and we celebrate our relationship by sharing a meal together. This year, we will eat some new products from our Valentine’s food hampers and we will play board games! It will be a Valentine’s day at home.
We will look back on our relationship and make plans. We will think about those who cannot celebrate their love, we will laugh, smile at each other and be present for one another.
Who knows about Valentine’s day next year?! Anything can happen after all. My perspective on life is that I should not take anything for granted. It could be gone just like that! In a flash! Bim bam boum…it’s gone.
Love is a little bit like sustainability. You should not take it for granted and expect the other one to do all the leg work. It’s a group effort. Every little thing you do to nurture your relationship and protect it is done so that you can give it a “tomorrow”.
And voilà, that’s it for today. It feels good to say it out loud.
Jessica & La French Maison